Creative espionage and inventive intimation: an interview with Aiming For Enrike

 

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Without doubt, one of the year’s most exhilarating and inventive propositions has been Segway Nation, the new album from Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike. The encounter is a fascinating instrumental adventure in sound and captivating aural suggestiveness; a multi-flavoured infectiousness created by drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen. Offered the chance to learn more with the duo, we set about discovering the creative heart of band and album.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

First of all can you tell us about yourselves as individuals?

We are two quite calm persons; a guitar player and drummer. We love making and playing music, so we spend a lot of time in the rehearsal space, practicing, jamming, and composing.

When did you first meet and what sparked the idea to form the band?

We met in 2010, when we attended a music school in Oslo. We were both into experimental noise rock music. After seeing some mind-blowing bands like Monolithic and Zu, we wanted to do something like that as a duo. By using loops we managed to get a huge sound even though we were only two. In the beginning we had more of a noise/prog sound but over the years the songs developed into more conventional song structures where we have incorporated a lot of influences from electronica, funk etc.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

Yes, but not worth sharing😉

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

It is wonderfully difficult to pin down the Aiming For Enrike sound for us, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

It’s an adventurous band with good melodies, cool grooves, and lots of energy. It has a very distinct sound, but still the music can go in many different directions.

What and who have most inspired your musical ideas and subsequently sound would you say?

Our sound is kind of schizophrenic and has a lot of layers because of a wide range of influences. Of course we can be inspired by other things in life, but I think it is only music and music gear that have a direct influence to our sound. Aiming for Enrike is the result of two people and sounds like something none of us would have made by ourselves.

Here are some names: Miles Davis, Josh Homme, James Brown, Nels Cline, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Greg Saunier, Hot Snakes, Glen Branca, Mike Patton, Moha…

I am no expert on the broad expanse of the Norwegian music scene right now, generally coming across the diversity of metal and rock bands from there, but I get the feeling that your music is a one of a kind there; something unusual to the Norwegian landscape of sound. Is that the reality and if so how have they taken to it?

In Norway it is very common to have musical collaborations across genres. If you look at the jazz and improvisational music scene, you have lots of artist who play music that have more in common with pop, rock/metal, electronic music than traditional jazz. In jazz festivals you can go and see pop acts, and in commercial festivals there are jazz bands playing. So I think in general people are very open to new stuff.  Most artists are not so focused on sounding like the other one. It is a good thing to be original, and have your own thing going. We don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds like us but way more people than we would have guessed have been positive and open to it.

You have just released new album, Segway Nation; a release which had our imagination as busy and enthralled as ears and feet. Where does a ‘typical’ Aiming For Enrike song start composing wise?

We always start by just playing. We spend a lot of time just improvising, or trying out different kind of ideas. It is important that we are inspired when we play, and that there is a fun factor. We try to follow our intuition, and not doubt our choices too much. Then we record our ideas and make tunes out of them.

Throughout the album, there is an organic freedom, almost as things were created, played, and improvised in the moment. Tell us about the recording of Segway Nation; were songs already AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400written before recording them or was there an element of conjuring twists and turns there and then?

Everything is played live in the studio, without any click track. That might create a more «free» or improvised feel. On Segway Nation we composed all the songs before we recorded them, but there are some parts in the songs where we improvise. It can be open sections, or written parts played in different ways. That keeps it interesting for us, and hopefully for the listeners. Some of the more «free form» songs like Minitrue and Phone Phobia are the result of some improvised recording sessions.

Another great aspect to the album is the way it inspires the listener’s imagination to create its own adventures. Can you tell us about some of the actual themes and inspirations to the tracks and their suggestive dramas?

We didn’t have any specific plans for this. But it is a good thing if the listeners make up their own adventure in the music. I don’t think there are any specific themes to the songs, but there are specific inspirations to some of the songs. It can be a groove, melody, riff etc.

The past few years has seen some impressive and ear striking duos emerge with varying styles and dynamics within their union. Often it seems that the slimness of personnel allows a band to bring its live presence much more easily to recordings. It is the same with you guys; there is a feeling that listening to Segway Nation would be like standing in front of you on stage. Do you think there is some validity in that thought from your perspective; less bodies and minds leads to less of a leaning on technology and tricks when recording music?

There is more space in the music when you are a duo, and that makes it easier to follow your intuition and play in the moment. Since we record our music live in a room, the recording becomes very representative for us as a band. There are very few options sound wise with only a guitar and a drum kit, so I think it is hard to lose the live feeling in the recording.

Marius Mada Dale

Marius Mada Dale

Tell us about your live side; how you translate the dynamics of songs to the stage?

It works really great! We played the songs live many times before we recorded them. So the recording is not much different from a live performance. With the live performance you will also get the visual aspect and a bit more playful approach to the material.

What is next for Aiming For Enrike now that the album is out and earning acclaim and new hearts?

We are working on new material, which is turning out really good! And we have some festivals coming up this summer; first there´s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, then Øya festival in Oslo. We are planning a European tour in the fall! So lots of cool stuff coming up!

Once again many thanks for giving your time to us. Anything you would like to add?

Check out our album Segway Nation, and also the live in Rohdos garage videos on YouTube.

Read the review for Segway Nation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/aiming-for-enrike-segway-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike    http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cardinal Bay – Answers EP

CARDINAL BAY_RingMasterReview

Making a potent introduction with their debut EP last year, UK post hardcore band Cardinal Bay have upped their game with its successor Answers. It is a five track proposal which growls as it dances on the ear, all of its tracks being as seriously catchy as they are emotively and aggressively forceful.

The strength of the band’s 2015 debut EP Way Back Home, released in their second year together, suggested that the Bridgwater quintet had the potential to make some big musical statements ahead and Answers certainly lives up to that promise in many ways. It comes after a year, since that first release, where the band undertook many UK tours, playing around the country alongside Amaryllis, Lost Atlanta, Chasing Cadence, and Breathe in the Silence and supported Funeral for a Friend before playing main stage at the UK’s biggest youth music festival, Butserfest. The early months of 2016 have been no different in business and success, the five-piece having made a recently acclaimed appearance on the main stage at Teddy Rocks. Now it is time for the Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul) recorded Answers to lay down a marker for what many are calling the most exciting band to recently emerge in the post hardcore scene.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom its first moments, the Answers EP certainly does little to dismiss that type of claim, its title track slipping into ears with a melodic jangle as feisty sounds flirt with its background. Pretty soon rhythms and riffs are jostling for attention too as the strong harmonic cries of Josh Rogers colour the song’s air. It is not an over striking start but the song easily has attention held, especially once Roger’s strong vocals stroll with a throaty bassline from Jonny Dibble for company as beats jab and skirt their tempting. As the guitars of George Hill and Dave Small cast a web of melodic suggestiveness, the song simmers nicely with the occasion eruption of raw vocal growls matched by an increase in energy led by the lively beats of Matt Ward.

A strong start to the EP, the song is a sign of things to come with bigger and bolder things waiting to really spark the imagination starting with Out Of Sight. The second track has a far more imposing air to it straight away, swinging beats hitting with a heavier hand as again raw vocal squalls court the impressing melodic tones of Rogers. The band does have a flare with creating infectious pop seeded enterprise too and that also blossoms within the tenacious encounter, almost so well that its make the rawest hues of the track seem unnecessary.

Its feisty presence is matched and eclipsed by the outstanding roar of the following #Shotgun. Instantly it has a virulence and fiery edge which seduces and ignites the imagination and appetite to their strongest reactions yet. There is something familiar to the song, an indefinable essence which only adds to its drama and magnetism built on shadowy rhythms, melodic adventure, and a rampant catchiness more than conducted by Roger’s powerful delivery.

Masquerade makes a more tempered impact next though from its initial grouchy attack amidst a spiral of sonic enterprise, the track easily engages and increasingly pleases ears. It lacks the spark of its predecessors musically, the ear grabbing bite which chains attention but certainly makes up for it with the now expected great vocal quality of the band.

The EP comes to a close with There Are No Flames In Hell, a track which slowly burned itself into the passions. By its end though, and helped by round after round of its infection loaded chorus, it emerged as another strong and lingering favourite. The track contains every impressive element of the band and its sound, giving plenty more reasons why so many are waxing lyrical about Cardinal Bay. With the Answers EP to the fore, 2016 is looking like being a big year for the Somerset band.

The Answers EP is out now @ https://cardinalbay.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CardinalBay   http://cardinalbayuk.tumblr.com/   https://twitter.com/CardinalBayUK

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Astral Cloud Ashes – Flashback

Flashback (artwork)_RingMasterReview

Having made a strong and captivating introduction to itself with the single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the Channel Islands hailing Astral Cloud Ashes are about to follow up that success with Flashback. Providing another potent teaser to a forthcoming debut album, the new single also reveals another dynamic and colour to the project’s songwriting and sound. Whereas its predecessor was a lively stroll of infectious enterprise and energy, Flashback is a calmer and mellower emotive engagement and just as magnetic.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project from Antony Walker, one half of the duo Select All Delete Save As which especially earned deserved acclaimed with their album Ultra Cultura in 2014. Walker has been exploring his own solo creativity for a while, often under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, but as quickly suggested by his first single as Astral Cloud Ashes, this new venture is one with the potential to match and even eclipse the previously mentioned ‘day job’ band. Sound wise Walker draws on inspirations from the likes of The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything for an indie/pop/rock persuasion, presumably self-tagged, as future-core.

Flashback caresses ears with a lone melody initially before the guitar is swiftly joined by a heavily shadowed bassline and floating melodic enterprise. At the same time, Walker provides an introspective narrative as gently provocative and ear pleasing as the harmonic embrace of sound around it. Guitar jangles, crisp beats, and emotive toning subsequently add to the web of alluring textures building the captivating proposal; a song wearing varying shades of The Lightning Seeds, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. to its melodic and evocative charm.

The track is a warm and fascinating encounter showing, as suggested earlier, another aspect to the band and offering another reason to keep an eager ear open for the first Astral Cloud Ashes album later this year.

Flashback is released May 4th across all major online distributors.

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes/

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

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Ooberfuse – Secret Tattoo

Ooberfuse_RingMasterReview

Having recently returned from a prestigious Nashville songwriting camp sponsored by the UK government (UK Trade and Industry), the band part of a small number handpicked UK artists working with Nashville’s songwriting royalty, electronic pop duo Ooberfuse unveil their new single in the shape of the magnetically alluring Secret Tattoo. It is a vibrant smile on the senses; a song which bubbles and simmers like a pot of warmed honey as sweet as it is compelling.

Ooberfuse artwork_RingMasterReviewThe Woolwich based Ooberfuse is the creative union of Hal St John and Cherrie Anderson, and a project which has seduced much of the world across hundreds of gigs including performing to an audience of 2 million in Madrid and playing for hundreds in one of Rio de Janeiro’s notorious favelas. They have toured across the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, the Philippines, and Iraq whilst stirring up support from the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Sister Bliss (Faithless), Ministry of Sound, BBC Introducing’s Tom Robinson, and Amazing Radio’s Jim Gellatly. Following the successful trip mentioned at the start, Ooberfuse has UK spotlights in their sight again with Secret Tattoo, the successor to their praised 2015 single Fall and a song inspired by the thought, “Although love hides its face away from the gaze of a loveless world it nevertheless sprays, like urban graffiti, colourful designs on the flesh of the human ear.”

Secret tattoo opens with a Yazoo like electro invitation quickly joined by the highly persuasive tones of Anderson. Backed by similarly alluring hues from St John, her voice dances on the senses; offering a warm siren-esque kiss on the ear as elegant and tempting as the weave of melodic synth cast suggestiveness around her. There is also a touch of Depeche Mode to the song as its meanders with purpose and resourceful enterprise across the imagination. Its body is slim, textures uncomplicated on the ear but together they create a pop song which lures the listener into a sultry embrace of emotive and electronic flirtation.

No demands are made by Secret Tattoo, just an invitation from Ooberfuse to immerse in its infectious charm; one easy to accept request.

Secret Tattoo is released April 29th

Upcoming Tour Dates:

9 May – London, Soho, Spice of Life

25 June – London, Hayes, Hayes Community Centre

6 July – Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Stonyhurst College

http://www.ooberfuse.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ooberfuse   https://twitter.com/ooberfuse/

Pete RingMaster 27/04/2016

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Matinée – Empty

matinee_RingMasterReview

With the melodic charms of debut album, These Days, still luring attention over a year later, backed by subsequent singles, the Italy hailing, London based Matinée are poised to unveil a new magnetic encounter posing as a single. Empty is a warm kiss on the senses, a melodic blush of elegance and catchy enterprise which equally is a rousing adventure hard to stop feet and enjoyment showing eager reactions to. The single in many ways echoes the creative exploits of that first album but at the same time pushes the invention and rich weave of flavours to new captivating heights.

Since emerging a handful of years back, Matinée has persistently impressed and fascinated a growing following of fans and attention. The success of their album has been matched and backed by a live presence which has drawn its own praise with the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Razorlight, Mystery Jets, Futureheads, The Wombats, Pete and the Pirates, British Sea Power and many more along the way. Empty sees the band linking up with Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Carl Barat, Glasvegas) again, the producer repeating his part of These Days, alongside Chris Geddes art_RingMasterReviewfrom Belle and Sebastian this time around.

Empty opens on a gentle rhythmic pulse and a charming drizzle of melodic rain, each synth cast drop a golden burst of warmth and enticement. The vocals of synth/guitarist Luigi Tiberio only adds to the attraction, his Italian accent bringing a touch of the Mediterranean and further infectiousness. Once the bolder, darker hues of Alfredo Ioannone’s bass and Alessio Palizzi’s lively beats join the affair on ears, the song is an enthralling blend of light and shadows amidst darker emotion and creative festivity.

Just as impressive in the song as the sounds offered, is the way sometimes the keys seem to lead the way, in other moments the guitar of Giuseppe Cantoli do or the vocals of Tiberio potently backed by those of Ioannone. The reality is that everything is equal yet the ebb and flow of the song, its rich crescendos provides a deceptive and very pleasing drama which consumes attention.

If you have yet to enjoy a Matinée performance, Empty is the perfect moment and adventure to spend your ticket on.

Empty is released April 29th via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thematineeband

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

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Tender Age – Disappear Here EP

2015-tender-age_RingMasterReview

Their sound is a challenge and seduction hard to shake off; an infestation of noise and harmonic invasiveness which runs at odds with the band’s name yet has an unfussy innocence and bold outlook in thought and voice which compliments it. The Oregon hailing Tender Age are the sculptors of the bracing proposal and the Disappear Here EP, the evidence of its compelling persuasion.

The successor to the successful Get High single of last October, Disappear Here provides three new entanglements of the senses, psyche, and the band’s experimental pop alongside two startling and fascinating covers which swiftly feel as if they belong to the imagination of Tender Age. Whether you wish to describe the band’s sound as bedroom pop, caustic shoegaze, or lo-fi indie, and it is all that and more, it makes for an ears and imagination bracing incitement which feels even more sonically bullish and creatively bracing on the new EP compared to the previous single alone. Recorded, mixed and produced by the band and Eric Sabatino, Disappear Here invades with fuzz fuelled guitars whilst a near toxic scuzz of noise corrodes the air. Within that though melodies smoulder and flame whilst vocals serenade with beauty undiluted by the rawness around them.

art_RingMasterReviewIt opens with Lowers, an initially low key affair with slowly unwinding rhythms leading ears into the enchanted landscape of vocal seduction and melodic expression. As swiftly though, the abrasing fuel of the band’s sound is potently shaping song and thoughts as the guitars of vocalists Tauna Leonardo and Elaina Tardif, matched by fellow six string craftsman Christopher Klarer, entwine and evolve into darker and harsher protagonists. The track is mesmeric, an absorbing trespass which especially hits the sweet spot when the sonic animus of noise takes over and violates psyche and senses.

It is a thrilling start matched by the melodically hazy Delirium. It is easy to offer My Bloody Valentine as a hint to the infectious bond between ear and song which quickly grows, though equally a whiff of bands like Throwing Muses and Breeders comes to mind too as the lighter elements float around the rhythmic spine and shuffle of drummer Nick Ferrucci and bassist Bryan Robertson. Less demanding and no less bewitching than its predecessor, the song slips away for the outstanding devilment of NO. Discord drips from every note and syllable offered with fuzz expectantly lining the walls of the mouth-watering enslaving of ears and imagination though even that seems to wear even more disorientating off-kilter devilment . British eighties Young Marble Giants nudge thoughts as the song resonates and pulsates with its sonic toxicity, their lo-fi beauty an undercurrent to the dissonant majesty at play within this gorgeous encounter.

The best track on the EP is followed by the two covers, starting with the Bobby Darin classic Dream Lover. Tender Age twist it, turn it inside out, and dissect it again with their sonic prowess yet still retain the melancholic air and melodic embrace the song has forever endeared ears with. Its examination of the senses and igniting of lusty reactions is followed by I Love How You Love Me; the Paris Sisters gem in turn infected and explored by the band’s raw simmering sound and unique imagination. Spoken vocals collude with sonic smog, haunting and romancing the senses simultaneously whilst bringing a kiss of the original to bear on nostalgic passions for an alluring and highly enjoyable finale.

The Disappear Here EP is a beguiling and at times almost rabid tempting of body and soul from a band which continues to show itself as one of the unique voices in noise and melody bred invention. So be bold and be blessed by exploring the raw world of Tender Age is our suggestion.

The Disappear Here EP is available now digitally and on cassette and 12” vinyl @ http://tenderage.bandcamp.com/album/disappear-here-ep-11-vinyl-cassette via SINIS Recordings.

http://tenderage.tv/   https://www.facebook.com/TenderAgepdx

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

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Some Kind of Illness – Self Titled

SKOI_RingMasterReview

Recently British band Some Kind of Illness signed with Manchester record label Valentine Records. It seems they had been looking at the band for a while and eager to have them join their already potent roster which includes the likes of St Jucifer and Ten Mouth Electron. Listening to the band’s self-titled debut album, it is easy to hear why. The release is a collection of indie guitar sculpted songs aligned with reverberant tone and emotively resonating ambience with the quality of being a quick persuasion but also slow burners in revealing the fullness of their heart bred depths; a mix which simply endears itself to ears and attention.

Hailing from the Bolton/Manchester area of the UK, Some Kind of Illness is the creation of and centred round the Hinks brothers, Paul and Mark. Emerging almost two years ago exactly, the band took little time in luring potent attention with their quickly praised live presence. Last year saw the band play in excess of 100 shows taking in venues such as Manchester Club Academy, Manchester Academy 3, Night And Day Cafe, The Roadhouse, The Ritz, Band On The Wall, The Cavern, and The Zanzibar as well as playing support to the likes of ex-Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley, The Jackals, and Pink Mountain Tops. That time has also seen the band record demos with Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly who has become a friend and strong supporter of the band and the release of first EP Stratus Dream which featured Luna from Birmingham band PQLYR. The self-released Some Kind Of Illness album was released in the latter part of 2015 but with the band signing to Valentine and a new chapter opening up for them it never does any harm to remind of the kind of treats which has drawn such potent steps in their emergence.

From album opener, The Test of Time, ears are hugged and caressed and thoughts nudged. In the dawning of a warm atmospheric caress, a melody winds its tender way around the senses with keys subsequently entangling with similarly enticing acoustic guitar. It is a mesmeric affair only enhanced by the expressive and distinctive vocals as well as the ebbing and flowing of the charming yet unpredictable ambience soaking all. It is a great start revealing the template of things to come; of the warm melodic enterprise, vocal reflection, and emotive explorations from band and the listener’s own imagination.

Some Kind of Illness - Some Kind Of Illness - cover_RingMasterReviewSome Kind of Illness cast an experience which leaves you feeling chilled yet also coaxes thoughts into exploring more imposing emotional shadows in sound and tone as with the following Angel Breakdown. An instrumental with a sampled vocal piece, the song suggests and incites with its melancholic air and sultry melodies, stirring up imagination and appetite simultaneously before the just as blue and evocative Stars involves ears in its sorrowful yet hopeful croon. Both songs captivate, a quality fuelling the whole of the album and through the more exotic yet intimate landscape of Maple Leaf which features Daisy Davies, who presumably is the child charming ears within the track’s bewitching instrumental.

The Light transfixes next with its Verve like scent; And Live matching its success with its sombre beauty before You Have To Laugh casts the listener upon a floating raft of melodic cheer and harmonic smiles. Each are individual suggestive temptations, songs, especially the last, that border on meditative as they escort the listener towards the absorbing intimate contemplation of My Shadow In The Maze and in turn the woven wrap of light and shadows that is Rush To Wait.

It is hard not to be absorbed by each and the whole of the album which is completed by Fool Man Runaway with Manchester bred Caoilfhionn Rose guesting. It is a final sigh of emotion, a last kiss of melodic poetry which, as the Some Kind of Illness album, leaves a lingering and warm yet maudlin glow which lures ears back to the release time and again. That is a success easy to reward with attention, something we suspect that the band’s link up with Valentine Records and a second album later in 2016 will inspire much more of ahead.

The Some Kind Of Illness album is available now @ https://somekindofillness1.bandcamp.com/album/some-kind-of-illness

https://www.facebook.com/SomeKindofIllness   https://twitter.com/skoiband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2016

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